Top 6 of the best laser engraving ideas
In the past, we’ve talked about laser cutting and our own laser cutting service quite a bit. For example, we made some posts on the best laser cutting projects with laser cut wood and laser cut acrylic. In this blog post, we would like to focus on laser engraving. This technology allows for an extremely precise engraving of either a specific design or of words. We will start off with an explanation of the process of laser engraving to be then followed by 6 examples of real-life laser engraving ideas realized by companies. This blog post will conclude with how you can apply your own laser engraving idea to perhaps your product line or product packaging design, here at 3D printing and laser engraving and cutting service Sculpteo.
What is laser engraving?
Laser engraving is a process that uses a laser machine in the form of an extremely high powered laser to engrave materials such as to engrave cardboard, MDF, acrylic, wood, etc. The optics of the laser cutter directs the laser beam on a specific material which then in turn either melts or burns a path made by the laser’s trajectory. This trajectory is laid out by the computer technology which in turn is guided by the 2D file of a laser engraving design. The main benefit of using a laser to engrave is because of its accuracy and the technology’s precise tracking. The material itself that gets laser engraved doesn’t have to be laser cut in the first place in order to laser engrave it. Would you like to see an example? Read our blog post on laser engraved business cards here.
Laser engraving at Sculpteo
Here, at Sculpteo, we offer two methods for laser engraving. The first one is line engraving and the second one is surface engraving. Line engraving is perfect to engrave a contour or regular lines. In general, it’s the same process as actual high powered laser cutting technology but with less power, so it doesn’t fully cut the material through. Our surface engraving engraves image files or photos including 3D effects. The outline of your design must be closed in order to do so. For this type of engraving, we offer two surface depths namely, superficial and deep. With a superficial depth, the cut can barely be felt when you touch it but this is not the case when you deeply engrave it.
Laser engraving examples
Below you may find some great examples of laser engraving that were actually implemented for a company’s product line, product packaging or relevant projects of theirs. These designs can be applied to your next project as well. You may find it useful for brainstorming sessions for laser engraving ideas by a product development or design team.
1. Barnbrook trophies
The Arsenale Award show awards outstanding contemporary artists over the past year. The actual trophies of the awards of the 2012 show were created by Barnbrook Studio. The studio created a contemporary art design to be then laser engraved on cube-shaped objects made from Corian material. This Corian material, in turn, consists of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. The cubes were laser engraved from all six sides.
2. Alphabetical Studio’s Design Museum wooden sign
The Alphabetical Studio is a design studio that implemented laser engraving for one of their projects. This project, in particular, was set up by the Design Museum. The Design Museum had an exhibition that was held in Clerkenwell. In order to properly advertise and announce the exhibition, a sign was to be created accordingly. The client didn’t want to make use of traditional printing methods so laser engraving was chosen. Melamine Veneered MDF, wooden material was chosen as the canvas. Melamine Veneered MDF allows for the exposure of underneath hidden wood once laser engraved. This allows for a negative space effect.
3. Braun’s invitations
Although an electronics company, Braun hired graphic design studio Popcorn to create invitations for a special event held in West London meant for Braun’s clients. This event was announced with laser engraved invitations that used 5mm black acrylic sheet perspex. Laser engraving allowed for customization and thus on each invitation the client’s name was engraved on it. Another mentionable thing about these customized laser engraved invitations is the fact that with laser engraving they were able to create a very small font that was still precise, accurate and readable – something that only a high powered laser can achieve. This is also called laser etching.
4. Deerrunner’s wooden handlebars
Deerrunner is a company that specializes in high-end items meant for single speed riders such as cutting leather grips or intricate designs of toe clips. One specific item is the handcrafted oak handlebar. In order to achieve qualitative logo placement on this item, and still showcase the exclusiveness of the product, a 1mm deep logo engraving was placed with laser marking. Laser engraving was able to minimize engraving depth to only 1 millimeter! This type of high precision surface engraving can only be done with a high precision laser.
5. Nokia’s digital poster
This project was mentioned in our top 8 laser cut acrylic blog post but it deserves another honorable mention in this post. Telecommunications company Nokia, set out to hire marketing bureau Hyper which in turn hired Signal | Noise to create a digital poster that made use of laser engraved acrylic material to create a digital poster. This poster also showcases graphics in the form of floating data projected onto it. The data displayed was from Nokia’s cooperation with Burt’s Snowboards and displayed real-time information on speed, altitude, heart rate, galvanic skin response and orientation of snowboarders at an event.
6. Magnetic Kitchen’s engraved skate decks
Magnetic Kitchen is a New York-based company that offers laser engraved products such as these laser engraved skate decks. With laser engraving, they’re able to, first of all, apply complex designs in a precise way to a skate deck, and secondly, they’re able to apply a design on the surface with minimal depth so it doesn’t affect the quality of the deck itself. Thus, safety rules are correctly followed so the product can be used by athletes.
Realizing your own laser engraving ideas
Perhaps these companies have inspired you to realize your own laser engraving ideas. Or maybe your product development or design team have come up with laser engraving ideas? You might need to find the right way to actually apply laser engraving to your project. Sculpteo’s laser cutting and engraving surface are of high quality and high precision, something you may hold a manufacturer responsible for. We are up for any laser engraving idea you have in mind. Simply have a look at one of our material pages such as Acrylic, Plywood, MDF, Cardboard, and POM, in order to see if your project is fit for our service. If so, upload your file here and we will get right to it so you may receive it as soon as possible!